Delhi HC grants police protection to lesbian woman married against her wishes

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice on a petition filed by a lesbian woman, who had been married against her wishes to a man and was forced to live a married life, and even threatened to be “cured” of her sexual orientation.

The petitioner had escaped from her marital home on March 7, and sought the assistance of ANHAD, a Delhi-based NGO. The petitioner was provided temporary shelter by another NGO, but her family members reached the premises of the safe house and asked for the petitioner to be handed over to them.

Justice Mukta Gupta directed the Delhi Police to ensure that the petitioner is provided complete protection, and that no NGO members are harassed or harmed for helping the woman.

The court categorically stated that an adult woman cannot be forced to stay with her marital or parental family against her wishes.

Justice Gupta also interacted with the petitioner and her husband, and directed that steps may be taken at the earliest for dissolution of the marriage.

The petitioner is also at liberty to shift to a different location if she so pleases, and Delhi Police shall take all necessary steps to provide protection to the petitioner at her new location, the court said.

The petitioner was represented by advocate Vrinda Grover, while Delhi Police were represented by standing counsel Rahul Mehra. The matter will be heard next on March 25.